Welcome to Conversations, Highsnobiety’s podcast series where we discuss topics and trends with the people shaping today’s scene.
There’s something oddly therapeutic about flipping through a physical medium. Yes, it’s a very real fact that print is in decline, and yet, in a media paradigm where our attention spans have been trained to look at everything like a feed, the slow-consumption approach of reading a proper magazine feels more luxurious than ever.
We’ve seen an uptick in independent and branded small-scale publications—beautiful, limited edition tomes often with a run that is only in the hundreds.
It’s an upscale evolution of DIY zine culture, which saw the proliferation of niche publications like Cometbus, Factsheet Five, and Profane Existence—each one offering a unique perspective on alternative culture.
But now brands and high-profile artists are getting in on the action. Kanye West released zines for his two previous Yeezy collections. Frank Ocean created a zine for his latest album, Boys Don’t Cry, which was packed in with a different edit of the record. Nike has made several strides with a slim, substantial tome called On Design, which was limited to just 500 copies and features essays by CEO Mark Parker and works from artist Maria Kalman. It was made to coincide with Milan Design Week.
In addition to our own print magazine, Highsnobiety recently published our first zine—the cheekily named “Short For Magazine,” featuring behind-the-scenes photos of the Yeezy Season 3 show from our in-house photographer Thomas Welch. The ongoing series is meant to be a limited edition platform to highlight emerging artists, designers and creatives in a more intimate way.
Document partners with brands like Timberland, Spiewak and adidas to create brand magazines that focus on a unique narrative. The agency’s latest publication, The Gap Document, retells Gap’s story through the eyes of people like prolific fashion writer Tim Blanks, NEIGHBORHOOD designer Shinsuke Takazawa, and menswear designer Christopher Raeburn, who crafted a one-of-one military jacket in collaboration with The Gap and Document Studios.